Mon, 13 Jul 2020

Nathi Mthethwa explained that ALL sport, whether contact or non-contact, could resume training allowing for professional players to remain in shape.Soccer falls into the 'contact' sport category.SAFA has always maintained that the health of athletes is of paramount importance.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has welcomed Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa's clarification regarding the resumption for both non-contact and contact sport in the country.

On Saturday Mthethwa belatedly attempted to explain how sport in the country would operate as South Africa moves to Covid-19 lockdown Level 3 from Monday, 1 June.

Mthethwa explained that ALL sport, whether contact or non-contact, could resume training allowing for professional players to remain in shape.

However, only non-contact sports would be allowed to schedule matches.

Soccer falls into the 'contact' sport category.

SAFA will look to finalise their position at a meeting of their Joint Liaison Committee on Monday.

"We welcome the fact that athletes can start training under strict specific conditions. Furthermore, there are requirements for a thorough monitoring of all athletes to ensure full compliance," a SAFA statement read on Saturday.

"It is also clear that contact sport like football and rugby among others cannot resume competitively under alert Level 3 from the minister's briefing on Saturday," said SAFA Acting CEO, Tebogo Motlanthe.

Motlanthe emphasised that SAFA has always maintained that the health of athletes is of paramount importance, something the minister underscored in his briefing.

Mthethwa also made it clear that the engagement between his department and different sporting federations will continue.

"SAFA welcomes such continued engagements, mindful of the negative financial impact Covid-19 has had on sport in general. Football, rugby and cricket are among the major sporting codes that have been heavily impacted by the pandemic," added Motlanthe.

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